20VC: The Commonalities In The Makings Of Truly Great People, How Silicon Valley Will Become The Home For Crypto and Frontier Tech Once Again & Why Games Are Such A Good Tool To Understand Human Motivation with Daniel Gross, Founder & Pioneer, Head of AI @ YC

Posted on 27th August 2018 by Harry


Daniel Gross is the Founder @ Pioneer and the Head of AI @ Y Combinator. Taking them in turn, Pioneer is the home for ambitious outsiders of the world where they are building a community of creative young people working on interesting projects around the globe. YC is obviously the world’s most successful accelerator with alumni that includes the likes of Airbnb, Dropbox, Reddit, Flexport and many more incredible companies. Prior to Pioneer and YC, Daniel was a Director @ Apple where he focused on machine learning, as a result of his prior company, Cue (also a YC company) being acquired by Apple in 2013. Finally, Daniel also has one of the valley’s most impressive angel portfolios with investments in OpenDoor, Cruise (acquired by GM), Gusto and Github, just to name a few.



In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Daniel made his way from a military camp in Israel to start a company at YC to selling the company to Apple to now, creating a global community of the world’s most ambitious people?

2.) What does Daniel believe is the commonality of truly great people? Why did Daniel decide to start Pioneers now? What are the terms for entering Pioneers? How is Daniel looking to create the global talent engine through gamification with Pioneers? Why is gamification such a strong tool to understand human motivation?

3.) Why did Daniel decide it was the right decision to bring the Pioneers to SF? In the world of decentralized entrepreneurship, why did Daniel feel it necessary to bring everyone to the valley? What does Daniel believe Silicon Valley needs to solve if it is to become the home for crypto and frontier tech? What role does optimism play in the success of SF?

4.) The program is funded through Stripe and Marc Andreesen, many have suggested this poses conflict with potential optionality on projects and talent, how does Daniel think about this conflict? Why is it not a concern? What other challenges does Daniel forsee as being the biggest barriers to the success of Pioneer?

5.) How does Daniel think about KPI’s for the coming 12 months? What are his core KPI’s? How does Daniel construct a framework that will allow him to love previously disliked tasks? How can anyone do this with success?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Daniel’s Fave Book: Finite and Infinite GamesEnders Game

Daniel’s Most Recent Investment: Jump, Retool

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Daniel on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

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